Better way to fight H. pylori

Researchers from Madgeburg, Germany report that a quadruple therapy regimen for those suffering from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is more effective than the current three-drug treatment, to which the bacterium is rapidly becoming resistant.

Since the appearance of the work of Australian pathologists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall in the early 1980s, it has been known that H. pylori is the main cause of peptic ulcers. More recently, studies have implicated it as a causative agent in the development of many stomach cancers.

In their study, published in The Lancet, the Magdeburg researchers worked with 440 “worst-case” scenario patients. Among this population, ten days of the quadruple treatment of omeprazole plus a single three-in-one capsule containing bismuth subcitrate potassium, and two antibiotics, metronidazole and tetracycline, improved the rate of eradication of the bacteria to 80 percent (174 of 218) from 55 percent (123 of 222), which was reported for those given the standard seven day treatment therapy of omeprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin.